Apart from photography and a few norm people interest, e.g. music, movies, I am also into cycling. Not a serious cyclist, more for exercise, simply because I can't stand "slow sport". For me anything that runs below 20km/hr continuosly is slow.
Like every other sports there's always gadgets for it. For cycling that means a cyclometer, GPS, heart rate detector and life saving mobile phone. Some also choose to bring along mp3 player and camera.
Not many cyclist would like to take so many gadgets. Particularly we stop for rest. Taking them off is troublesome. Leaving them means expose to theft. All we can dream of is one device to rule them all.
It turns out iPhone is such a device. Before getting on, let's take a look at another closest device, Garmin Edge 705. It's a GPS cyclometer with optional heart rate detector, speed and cadence sensor and it cost as much as an iPhone without contract and it does not come with phone, camera, video and music.
Again it's the software that does the trick. After trying out a few I settle with Motion X-GPS Sports. First reason, it has comparable software features as Garmin Edge. Second, it's USD2.99! Where are you gonna find a GPS app that do so much at this price?
Let see what it can do. The interface is simple and easy to use. Adequate size touch screen buttons since iPhone only has one "exit" button. Clicking forward backward will bring you to cyclometer, compass, maps, saved tracks, and iPod. There's also the camera button in case you stumble across nice scenery or mystic creature along the track.
There are three types of maps available, Google, Bing and Openstreet map, which means Internet connection is needed to read the maps. Some cyclists will prefer to go into the unknown where 3G radiation is non existence. Fortunately user can download selected area/route prior going into the wilderness. Unfortunately only Openstreet map is downloadable.
Saved tracks can then be shared with friends thru email, Facebook and Twitter. Saved in universal GPX format there's a wide variety 3rd party free and paid software for user to analyse data once back home.
If you are brave enough, you can put Motion X-GPS into background and launch iPhone video recorder to record 60km/hr downhill. A stereo Bluetooth headset transforms iPhone into a walkie talkie and music workout device.
What does it not have? Clearly there's no cadence meter. There's the speedometer but from satellite reading instead of sensor. iPhone is not water resistant. In case of rain, Garmin will survive but not iPhone unless you put it into a waterproof case or zip lock bag. I opt for the second one.
In case you wonder, where's the heart rate detector? There are a variety of heart rate detector in the market and most come with wrist watch that can data link to computer. Nevertheless Motion X-GPS is designed for outdoor enthusiats, not professional cyclist. Even Garmin Edge 705 is rarely seen among avid cyclists.
If you are not convince, don't worry, there's a free lite version available with all features but limited data recording. Go for a ride and see if you like it.
In case you have difficulties mounting iPhone onto your bike check out my previous post.
I have long dream of mounting my iPhone 3GS onto the bike. For cycling it can be used as a GPS(Motion X-GPS Sport), an iPod, a walkie-talkie(Phone), a camera, etc. Functionality it's even better than Garmin Edge, besides top model Edge 705 comes with heart rate detector and cadence meter, which is not essentials to me.
Most iPhone bike mount in the market come at a price. iBikemount produce very nice bike mount which cost USD29.99 excluding shipment.
Today while shopping in the mall I came across this RM18 half silicon half plastic hybrid case. I put my iPhone + NexxOne Polyshield into the fishbone. Wallap! It's a 100% fit.
Back at home I found some Velcro and rubber strip from the storeroom. I prefer Velcro because I own more than one bike. It will be easier to move the bike mount to another bike later on. If you have only one bike, you might consider using cable tie instead. All these materials can be found at local hardware store.
Here's the 123 steps DIY iPhone bike mount.
Step 1 – Cut the velcro to desire width and length.
Step 2 – Most stem will have a gap as shown in the picture. I use a thick rubber strip to cover the gap.
Step 3 – Secure the fishbone and stem with Velcro.
When needed, just pull the top and slide the iPhone out.
Done! Time for me to get a backup battery (Griffin Reserver Battery) and A2DP Bluetooth stereo headset.
Begin on 8 February, Le Tour de Langkawi finally came to an end yesterday, 17 February 2008. Race across Penisula Malaysia, the last stage Kuala Lumpur Criterium, started off Dataran Merdeka, race across KL city center for 11 laps and finished at the same place.
Nowadays I am a minimalist, bringing only Canon EOS 5D, EF70-200mm f4L IS USM, a spare battery and CF cards, all fit nicely in my Lowepro Toploader 70AW. After all, I am shooting for recreation purpose. Too much equipments break my shoulder, and I wouldn't have time to change lenses and take care of my gears. Best to travel light, don't be greedy. One person can't cover every angle and subjects. Think and concentrate before pressing the shutter. Better aim for quality than quantity.
Recently I am quite obsess in bikes (bicycle). Bought myself a carbon fiber frame road bike, and spend hours surfing on bikes stuff. I encounter these crazy videos, which put me away from mountain bike.
Video No. 1 – Bike is not design to go 170km/hr
He has great skills and certainly GUTS. But the bike simply not design for the speed. Also he should have wear full motorbike racing suit and helmet.
Video No. 2 – Carry your bike on dangerous terrain and travel with companion
Imagine you are at dangerous terrain, accidentally fall off and roll down 100m. You be lucky if you still alive.